Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission has blamed the police and rewarded Canadian student Louis Sophia of Tamil Nadu origin with Rs. 2 lakh for raising slogans against the BJP and PM.
In 2018, Sophia had boarded a flight from Chennai to Thoothukudi. Then TN BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan, who is now the Governor of Telangana and the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, was also on board the same plane. Seeing her, Sofia raised slogans against the BJP-led central government and PM Modi. There was also a debate between Dr Soundararajan and Sophia. Sofia was arrested later on the complaint of BJP officials.
Her father, Dr Antony Arokiya Samy, moved to SHRC against the daughter's arrest and subsequent judicial custody. He had accused the police officers that his daughter was harassed, which put her under deep mental pressure. The arrest is against the directions of the Supreme Court. Police officials defended the action, saying Sofia harassed a co-passenger by making noise and disturbing peace in the airport's high-security area.
Accepting the contention of a woman activist that she was subjected to torture and harassment by seven police personnel, ranging from SI to ASP in Tuticorin, SHRC on 2 March recommended payment of Rs 2 lakh as compensation to her, besides recommending disciplinary proceedings against the cops. It directed the government to recover the same from the police personnel concerned. It asked the government to issue instructions not to mechanically arrest the accused if the offences are punishable with imprisonment for less than seven years.
"The commission rewarded a student who made ruckus midair and in the airport area. She should be punished as a deterrent to others. In Tamil Nadu, police arrested BJP and opposition leaders at midnight like terrorists and some were slapped with goondas act. Lavanya and victims of love jihad cases aren't "violation of human rights" for the SHRC as they are all Hindus," says G. Jaya Krishnan, political commentator.
"Vlogger Maridhas, social media activist Kishor Swamy, BJP functionary Kalayan Raman and others were arrested. In Coimbatore, Arunkumar was arrested for splashing saffron paint on EV Ramaswamy statue and was booked under NSA. ABVP students who protested near CM's residence in Chennai seeking Lavanya suicide were arrested. The police literally bundled and carried the women students to the police van. The Magistrate remanded them 14days judicial custody while the police sought one day of custody. It was an illegal detention. Nowhere in the country students were remanded for 14days custody. It is a fundamental right to protest democratically (the farmers' protest lasted for more than a year). The SHRC should have taken suo moto action in all above mentioned and other cases. It should not create a impression that it is only for the welfare of the minorities. In the Sofia case, she had terrorized the co-passengers by shouting in midair and created a scene spoiling serene atmosphere. SHRC should reconsider its verdict," said Arumuga Kani, state media coordinator, VHP.